Evil Villains: Who’s the Baddest of Them All?
Everybody loves an evil villain. But who is the baddest of them all? And what makes these the greatest villains of all time? In other words, what are the qualities that make a character we can all enjoy hating? In searching several other lists of bad guys—movie bad guys, TV bad guys, cartoon bad guys, and book bad guys—there seemed to be a few villain names that stand out above the rest.
Here are some of the most iconic baddies (and hopefully we haven’t missed out on your favorite.)
- Luke Skywalker wouldn’t be so beloved without Darth Vader to oppose. And that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father, makes him all the worse. Star Wars
- Agent Smith is the opposite of Neo in The Matrix. Neo, as The One, represents the power of choice and free will. But Smith is pitiless and focused on conformity and by replicating himself, he becomes the many and an incredibly evil villain. The Matrix
- Terl, Earth’s Security Chief from the planet Psychlo is the villain in the New York Times bestselling novel Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard. He has captured Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who must overcome Terl’s plan to destroy the rest of mankind. That Terl—who views torture as “delicious”—keeps a bomb attached to Jonnie’s love as leverage for Jonnie to do his bidding. Battlefield Earth
- Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is the ruthless, ambitious, cruel leader of the House Harkonnen in Dune and so fat that he requires antigravity devices to suspend his bulk. Dune
- Harry Potter’s ultimate victory over Lord Voldemort, who J.K. Rowling even called “the evilest wizard for hundreds and hundreds of years” and who is so bad that he is simply referred to as “he-who-must-not-be-named,” wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying if Voldemort hadn’t been trying to kill Harry since he was a baby. Harry Potter
- Satan, the ultimate villain in literature, the Biblical figure is a depiction of maleficence at its darkest. He’s the basis of evil upon which we have founded our opinion of villainy, so is fully deserving of a place on this list. Dante’s Inferno
- Count Dracula, based on the novel of his name, is the ultimate blood-sucking villain and his charm is what makes him all the more villainous; enticing victims by seducing them before inflicting his fatal bite. Dracula
- Sauron is the all-seeing eye and source of true evil and villainy in the Lord of the Rings. That an innocent, peace-loving Hobbit by the name of Frodo ultimately proves his undoing is all the more rewarding when everyone else is subjugated to Sauron’s will. Lord of the Rings
- Alien is the famous villain and extraterrestrial life form, that spreads its race through implanting larva in their hosts. When Ellen Ripley and her crew from the starship Nostromo answer a distress call on the Alien ship, things get really bad. Alien
- Roy Batty a synthetic human known as a Nexus-6 replicant is “baddie” for sure. He is bio-engineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation. He escapes back to Earth, where he meets his match and does the things that only villains do against officer Rick Deckard of the Replicant Detective Division. Blade Runner
- Terminator is a story of the battles between Skynet‘s synthetic intelligent machine network, the Resistance forces, and the remaining human race. The Terminator, a cyborg assassin disguised as a human, travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. This villainous character will stop at nothing to strike her down. Terminator
So there you have it. Our list of some of the most evil villains and dark characters you hope to never meet.
And for a list of Movie Mojo’s 10 sci-fi movie villains, check out this video:
Let us know if we missed any of your favorite evil villains. You can list your most loved or most hated in the comments section below.
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Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Dune) deserves at least an honorable mention.
He most certainly does. Thanks! He was the one who pulled the heart plugs from his victims, correct?
The ones that give me the biggest creeps are the ones you can’t tell are bad until it’s (almost) too late. They look and act like normal people most of the time. Something like Jekyll and Hyde. Writers have a difficult time with such characters because they are so hard to understand. It is much easier to create someone who is pure evil and obviously so!